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William Charles Johnes

October 27, 1942 ~ April 27, 2022 (age 79)

Obituary

William “Bill” Charles Johnes, 79, of Sellersburg, IN, passed away on April 27, 2022.

A memorial service will be held at 6:00 PM on Friday, May 13, 2022 at Scott Funeral Home, 2515 Veterans Parkway, Jeffersonville, IN.  Visitation will be held from 4:00 to 6:00 PM on Friday at the funeral home. 

Bill was born on October 27, 1942 in New York City to the late William and Robina Johnes.  His father a skilled textile salesman and his mother an artist and textile designer, Bill grew up in Staten Island an only child, but well-loved.  His cousin, Alan Carlisle, was like a brother to him.  After graduating high school, Bill went on to attend Wagner College to study language, one of his great passions.  While there, he spent 2 semesters abroad traveling Europe in search of adventure - and he found it.  In 1962, at the age of 20, Bill traveled to Bregenz, Austria with a group of other Wagner College students. Bregenz was the perfect jumping off point for the young adventurers to immerse themselves across Europe in culture, language, and, occasionally, good wine.  The experience formed bonds that lasted a lifetime.

Bill returned to the United States and graduated Wagner College in 1964, but he never lost his love of travel.  In fact, he returned to Europe several more times before graduation, traveling to Vienna, the Spanish Riviera, Bratislava, the Bordeaux region of France, and Paris.  He so loved Paris that from 1962 to 1967 he visited there 5 times, spending many happy months in the City of Light.  After a stint teaching college, Bill entered a Russian language immersion program through American University in Washington D.C. This led to more daring adventures, and to the love of his life. While traveling by boat from London to Leningrad, he met Pirkko, and later joined her in her hometown to see the Finnish countryside.  After a whirlwind courtship, she joined him in the United States and they were married. 

For a time, Bill and Pirkko traveled across the United States while Bill found work as a professor of languages.  He was fluent in English, French, Spanish, German, Russian, and, later in life, Finnish. In the early 80's, Bill and Pirkko purchased a home in the Virginia suburbs just outside Washington, D.C.  There, Bill would spend more than 20 years working as a Courier for the Department of Defense while Pirkko built a career at the Library of Congress. Travel continued, with trips to visit his parents in Florida, and more adventures in Europe after his retirement.

The course of Bill’s life was charted by the adventures of his youth, and it was given meaning by his love of language, travel, lifelong learning, and family.  After retirement, Bill and Pirkko moved from the Washington D.C. suburbs to southern Indiana. The closing chapter of Bill’s life was a happy one, filled with quiet comforts, the laughter of grandchildren, and faith in the Lord.  He was one of a kind, and his trademark humor and unique perspective on the world will be missed.    

He was preceded in death by his parents.  He is survived by his loving wife, Pirkko (Kustonen) Johnes; daughter, Christine Johnes; daughter, Erika Brooks (Spencer); grandchildren, Olivia Brooks, Finnegan Brooks, and Eleanor Brooks; and his cousins, Dennis Alan Carlisle (Lynn), and Lorna, Beth Kelly, and Jean.

To send flowers to William's family, please visit our floral store.


Services

Visitation
Friday
May 13, 2022

4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Scott Funeral Home
2515 Veterans Parkway
Jeffersonville, IN 47130

Memorial Service
Friday
May 13, 2022

6:00 PM
Scott Funeral Home
2515 Veterans Parkway
Jeffersonville, IN 47130

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